The Acharya has his own doubts whether we can do this sorting in an intelligent way; so he gives in his prakaraNa work “anAtma-shrI-vigarhaNam” a long list of anAtma items.
In each shloka therein, the first three lines end with *tataH kim?*. It means, “ So what? What is the use?” Status, wealth, dress and decoration, physical beauty, fine health – there are many of this kind that we hold to be highly esteemable and in each line one of them is mentioned, followed by a “tataH kiM”.
Three such lines in every shloka are followed by the fourth line *yena svAtmA naiva sAkshhAt-kRRito’bhUt* (if one has not realised the Self). This is repeated in every shloka.
The meaning of this refrain is to say: If one has not realised the Self, what is the use of his status? Of his wealth? Of his decorative show? Of his beauty? Of his health?. One does not know the truth of oneself; and without knowing that, what is the value of adding one’s status, wealth and health? – this is the substance of the shlokas.
Will it not look absurd if “we don’t know somebody; but still we are going to honour that somebody with a presentation of a purse of money”? That is the situation here, says the Acharya.
Atman is the truth of oneself; if this truth is not known what else is going to be of value? On the other hand if one knows the Self, to him also all these are of trivial value. In fact only if one discards all these as trivial, one can know his own Self. Thus in any case, status, wealth, decoration, beauty, health and whatever other things we hold to be great – all of them are undesirable. The discarding of all of them as anAtmA (non-self) is “anAtma-shrI vigarhaNaM”.
The meanings of the word ‘shrI’ known to everybody are: Lakshmi, auspiciousness, wealth. But there is another meaning also: ‘poison’! Lord Shiva is keeping the poison in his throat and that is why he is also called ‘ShrI-kanTha’. The pleasures that we consider to be of value from wealth and auspiciousness, should be devalued as poison – this is ‘anAtma-shrI-vigarhaNaM’.
And this is nothing but another name for AtmA-anAtma-vivekaM, that is, nitya-anitya-vastu-vivekaM.